I was translating a sentence from a lore book for Saint Seiya. It's describing the parts of the Underworld and I guess the main story beat that occurs there. It definitely uses certain pieces of grammar I know to be "old sounding," poetic language, such as using the masu-stem of a verb as the connecting form where modern language would expect the te form.

That said, I can't for the life of me figure out why this sentence ends in ことに. Any insight?


I roughly translate this as:

The Sixth Prison is comprised of three separate parts: The First Valley (The Pond of Blood), The Second Valley (The Woods), and The Third Valley (The Fiery Desert). After receiving Lune's judgment in The Second Prison, Seiya, who had been doing nothing but battle, was condemned to the Sixth Prison First Valley's Pond of Blood.

For this translation, I basically have paid no the ことに at the end no mind. Is there any nuance it's adding that I'm missing? Is it maybe something like "ended up?"

  • 1
    Related: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/36510/9831 See also: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/19005/9831
    – chocolate
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 11:07
  • 1
    There is no archaisms in that passage.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 13:38
  • Maybe not an archaism, but wouldn't ending that clause with 受け instead of 受けて be considered poetic or old fashioned? Or is it just highly formal? Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 18:16
  • 1
    It's just formal. Though preferred in written language, you will hear it a lot if you listen to news on TV.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 1:03
  • Not related to your main question, but (with the caveat that I'm not especially familiar with Saint Seiya) I think it's the Sixth Hell rather than a prison.
    – Philippe
    Commented Aug 26, 2023 at 10:53

1 Answer 1


ことになる is shortened as ことに here, or in other words, the verb なる is omitted. You can think of it as an ellipsis, too. This happens mostly in written language and when the space is limited, and I suppose in poems, too, with their own constraints in length and meter.

In this context, 飛ばされる is not much different from 飛ばされることになる, so you don't lose much in skipping ことに instead of adding になる. Strictly speaking, ことになる makes it clear that the event happens in future.

In general, verbs at the end can be omitted when they are easy to infer. (It gives an impression of being shortened for some purpose, though, kind of like headlinese.)

彼は新幹線で東京へ。 (The verb is omitted but can be plausibly predicted.)

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